Many of us are finding ourselves in very unfamiliar territory- home working. Not only that but we are being thrown together with children and partners who are also working at home!

So here are a few handy tips on how to make this potentially stressful situation work for everyone so you can all not only survive, but flourish together.

1 Create a morning routine that ends with you sitting in your chair ready to start work.

2 Set up a dedicated area to work – even if it’s only an end of the kitchen table.

3 Keep to your normal working pattern as much as possible.

4 Stay organised with your paperwork – don’t sprawl everywhere especially if there is more than one of you working from home.

5 Check your insurance – ensure you are covered for working at home.

6 Move often! Set an alarm at regular intervals.

7 Agree the rules with your family/partner/housemates – make it clear that when you are at work, you’re at work, even though you’re at home. Set your limits, be clear, especially with children, but don’t ignore them altogether. After all, you talk to other people at the office.

8 Warn people when you are about to take a conference call!

9 Divide the working day up into time slots.

10 Watch your posture at your desk/table – poor posture will lead to nasty aches, pains and injuries (and I can’t see you to massage them away right now!).

11 Desktop set up – think about desk/chair/screen height, hand/arm position, screen position etc. Recreate what you have at the office as much as possible (more about this in a future post).

12 Watch out for trailing wires and make sure your “office” is pet and child proof!

13 Go out into the garden/onto your balcony/for a walk (but stick to the social distancing rules) – get fresh air throughout the day.

14 Stop for lunch away from the desk/phone. Set a timer so you don’t short change yourself, or use an app to lock yourself out of your screen for 45 minutes.

15 Snacks! If you have a tendency to snack have healthy ones to hand and hide the rest out of sight!

16 Leave FB/Twitter/texting/time wasting alone – agree when you will allow yourself to spend time on this and how much time and don’t step outside of that (believe me, hours can disappear just like that!).

17 Use the phone/group chat/Whatsapp/Zoom/Skype etc to stay in contact with colleagues (don’t do it all by email).

18 If you are home alone, put some music on in the background quietly and take time to talk to your pet!

19 Take a morning and afternoon tea break – sit outside if it’s warm enough, let the dog/rabbit out in the garden, chat to the kids/your partner, move away from your screen and phone and just be in the moment for 15 minutes.

20 “Socialise” with colleagues – have an end of day drink/catch up by Skype/FaceTime/WhatsApp/Zoom whatever!

21 Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find you are drifting onto something else like looking at Instagram or the news, just bring yourself back and start again.

22 At the end of the working day – turn off the laptop and do something to switch off from work and start your down time – make it a routine.

23 And most of all don’t have too high expectations of you or your family. It’s not going to be easy and it will take time to adjust. You may never take to home working or you may love it so much you want to carry on doing some!

Good luck! And let me know if you have any other good ideas for surviving home working.

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